The 512 Streaker

A Streak - A commitment made to do something for 365 days straight. This blog is dedicated to documenting my experience of learning something by completing a streak.

The Three-Year Swim Club

March 17, 2016 in #Reading_Streak | | | Share on Google+

Anybody who knows me knows that I have been a swimmer all my life. The question people always ask when they are trying to get to know me is "what sport did you play growing up" my answer is always just, "I swam, thats all I did." I spent nearly 18 years of my life swimming and its probably one of the best decisions I ever made. Swimming required disciple, athleticism, and a huge commitment. It's a sport about small gains and shaving off seconds on time to be the best. I thought the The Three-Year Swim Club would be an excellent read since its a book about how the sport of swimming transformed a poor community in Maui to become a world swimming powerhouse in the 1940's Olympics. I thought wrong ...

First off, I loved the story, its an amazing story, but I could not finish the book. The story is about the coach that helps to transform a bunch of "sugar-ditch" kids into phenomenal swimmers. These kids (and the coach for that matter) came from nothing and from families who worked hard jobs in either sugar or pineapple plantations in Maui. I made it 200 pages in and had to move along. I found myself going back to it time and time again with the same perseverance that I approached swimming, "just keep going, it will get better." Sadly that was not the case for this read.

The author thought it pertinent to write almost 434 pages of detail surrounding this transformation and left NO detail out. I did not think this book needed that much embellishment and found it hard to stick with the story that jumped around so much. It seemed the author had to discuss every history exposition to give her readers a glimpse into the bigger picture. Sorry Mrs. Checkoway, I did not need that much detail. The story, like I said, was amazing but the way she writes in historical format, so there is no real glimpse into the swimmers dedication and urge to win on an individual level, only historical documentation that talks about their times. From someone that swam their whole life, if I am reading a book about swimmers in Maui in the 40's, I think it might be best to have the writer be a former swimmer, or a Japanese- american, or even from Maui (like most of the Three Year Swim Club), but Julie Checkoway wasn't any of those things.

Not to be too scathing, but I think Checkoway might have found an opportunity with this story to accelerate her career, but the story might have been conveyed better in the hands of a story teller, not a historian that peppers in quotes from former presidents and philosophers.

Moving along to another book ...

March 17, 2016 in #Reading_Streak | | | Share on Google+